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Outstanding Dissertation Awards


Award Overview

The Outstanding Dissertation Awards are presented to PhD/doctoral-level students who have written original, innovative dissertations that reflect great research and have or are likely to be disseminated widely and have significant impact on the field and society. This award is open to all PhD/doctoral-level students who have achieved candidacy and are expected to complete, defend their dissertation, and graduate in the current academic year.

Up to two awards are presented for $750 each.

Nomination Process & Timeline

Associate Dean(s) for Graduate Studies, and/or their designee(s), such as the faculty supervisor or mentor who can speak to the significance and impact of the student's work, are encouraged to nominate deserving graduate students for this award. Only top students in each College/School should be nominated for this award, such that they would be considered the College/School Finalist(s). Students may be nominated for both the Outstanding Dissertation and Research Excellence Award. The Graduate College will confirm the eligibility of the graduate student nominee prior to committee review (i.e. evidence of scheduled [D-4] or completed oral defense [D-5]).

Nominations for the 2020-2021 Academic Year were due by 12 p.m. EDT Friday, April 30, 2021.

See 2021 award winner and nominees here.

Required Materials

  1. Completed Nomination Form via Qualtrics
  2. Student’s Personal Statement- Maximum of 2 pages
  3. Student's Resume/CV- Maximum of 2 pages (such as an NSF or NIH biosketch)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Originality, Creativity and Significance of Research
  • External Recognition (peer-reviewed papers published, presentations, awards, recognition by professional associations, etc.)
  • Internal Recognition (Drexel awards, standing of the student among peers, etc.)
  • Impact on the Field (through citations, H-index, etc.)

Award Rubric

Award Selection & Distribution

The Graduate College appoints a diverse group of faculty and professional staff representing Drexel's Colleges and Schools to review nominations and select University-level awardees based on the evaluation criteria. Awards are usually distributed each year at a Graduate Student Day awards ceremony and reception; however, due to COVID-19, we will honor awardees by sending a University-wide announcement and distributing digital award certificates. Graduating awardees are also listed in the official Commencement booklet and may also be recognized during their College/School Commencement ceremony.

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate College at

Visit the Graduate College website for more information about the Graduate Student Excellence Awards.